Scott Cunningham—The Path Taken

Honoring the Life and Legacy of a Wiccan Trailblazer

$21.95

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Imprint: Weiser Books
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“It is impossible to overstate Scott Cunningham’s influence on the world of Western witchcraft, as well as on Wiccan spirituality. He was not the founder of modern Wicca; that’s Gerald Gardner. He did not introduce Wicca to the United States; that was Raymond Buckland. Instead, Scott transformed Wicca and witchcraft by making them accessible to all in a way that had previously not been possible. Although the impact of Scott’s work continues to grow, too many are unaware of Scott, himself, as a person. This brilliantly moving book by Christine Cunningham Ashworth, Scott’s younger sister, seeks to remedy that.”
—Judika Illes, editor, and author of Encyclopedia of Witchcraft 

“Like so many other witches, my first witchcraft books were those written by Scott Cunningham. I still use much of what I learned from him in my own books. He was a huge influence, personally and professionally irreplaceable and unmatched. It has always been a great sorrow to me that I never met Scott, but through this wonderful new biography, I feel as though I finally have. Thank you, Christine Cunningham Ashworth, for sharing him with me and the world. It is a gift beyond measure.”
—Deborah Blake, author of The Everyday Witch’s Coven and The Eclectic Witch’s Book of Shadows

“This book ought to come with a warning label: ‘Do not open unless your schedule is free for the next several hours.’ It’s a hackneyed old trope to say, ‘I couldn’t put this book down,’ but in the case of Scott Cunningham—The Path Taken, it’s absolutely accurate. Christine’s story is a truly compelling page-turner that reads like the best fiction, but even better, as it’s all true! Whether you are a Scott Cunningham aficionado or are just getting introduced to his legacy in the world of witchcraft, you will be fascinated with this story of his courage, curiosity, and magic, written by one of the people who knew him the best—his sister. Just make sure you are ready to settle in for a nice, long, thoroughly enlightening, and enjoyable read.”
—Madame Pamita, author of Magical Tarot, Baba Yaga's Book of Witchcraft, and The Book of Candle Magic

“Applause and gratitude for the diligence, willingness, and courage of Christine Cunningham Ashworth to share so many personal stories and anecdotes of the Cunningham family. It is through her lens, her heart, her bravery that we can touch Scott Cunningham in a way many of us have only dreamed. Anyone blessed to own this book will have a true treasure in their hands. I know it will grow spiritual wings, fly to the furthest magical corners of the universe, and be a blessing to all who read its pages. A true keeper, a touchstone, a heartfelt working of love.”
—Najah Lightfoot, author of Good Juju: Mojos, Rites & Practices for the Magical Soul and Powerful Juju: Goddesses, Music & Magic for Comfort, Guidance & Protection

“I loved this telling of Scott Cunningham’s story! The format of including excerpts from other metaphysical writers was brilliant and lets us get to know Scott on the level he would have wanted us to—the spiritual one. Christine Cunningham Ashworth herself writes with such love and respect for her brother and their shared history. The combination makes a recounting of Scott’s life that is as dreamy and whimsical as it is factual and informative. A must-read for those who found witchcraft through his books, whether that was decades ago or yesterday.” 
—Cassandra Snow, author of Queering the Tarot, Queering Your Craft and coauthor of Lessons from the Empress

“A touching and intimate portrait of one of America’s most important witchcraft pioneers, intensely readable and relatable, Scott Cunningham—The Path Taken is now required reading for anyone interested in Craft history. Thirty years after Cunningham’s untimely passing, this book illustrates why his work is just as popular today as it was during his lifetime.”
—Jason Mankey, author of The Horned God of the Witches
 
Scott Cunningham—The Path Taken . . . is the true-life saga of a close-knit, loving family and the author’s journey to piece together, from scattered memories, Scott Cunningham, the famous brother she never fully knew. It is about love and loss, regrets and appreciations—a memorial told in personal snapshot-like scenes, in the reminiscences of friends, and in the stories of people who only knew Scott Cunningham through his books that enriched and changed their lives.

“You will learn how Scott, writing in the 1970s and 80s, felt he had to live in two closets, both as a gay man and as a witch. Still, he legitimized solitary witchcraft by helping individuals ‘remember’ the natural, everyday practice of magic; he made Wicca, its knowledge, and essential practices, available to everyone.”
—Mary K. Greer, author of Women of the Golden Dawn and Archetypal Tarot
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Book Details

Pages

240 Pages

Size

6 x 9

Format

Trade Paperback

Pub. Date

09/04/2023

ISBN

978-1-57863-808-6

Publisher

Red Wheel Weiser

Authors

Christine Cunningham Ashworth has, herself, become an established part of the divination and witchcraft communities. Christine writes a regular column in The Cartomancer Magazine and is a popular speaker at cartomancy conferences, including The International Divination Event (TIDE), the Northwest Tarot Symposium, and StaarCon. Christine is the author of numerous novels, primarily in the romance genre. She lives in Southern California. Find out more about her at Christine-Ashworth.com or mysticalmagic.me and follow her on Instagram @ashworthchristine.

A moving portrait of the iconic figure who led the way in establishing Wicca in North America—with remembrances of his life by his sister, Christine Cunningham Ashworth, and appreciations written by key figures in today’s world of witchcraft, magic, tarot, and astrology.

The iconic and renowned bestselling author Scott Cunningham (1956–1993) played a significant role in establishing Wicca in North America. His pioneering book Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner radically altered the practice of Wicca, enabling practitioners to self-initiate. Scott’s books, especially his encyclopedias, remain popular today, years after his death. In recent years, Scott has also emerged as a celebrated queer icon, especially in the witchcraft world. Although so many people have come to Wicca and Paganism through his books, little is actually known about Scott Cunningham as a person.
 
His little sister, Christine Cunningham Ashworth, seeks to remedy that. Christine grew up with him, laughed with him, learned with him, fought with him, and shared joys and sorrows. She writes about their childhood, gives a peek into their parents’ lives, and brings to life what it was like to grow up in the Cunningham household. She explores the trajectory of Scott’s magical path and affirms his legacy. Christine shares family photos and lifts the veil from Scott’s life.     
 
Featuring a foreword by Mat Auryn, author of Psychic Witch and Mastering Magick, Scott Cunningham—The Path Taken contains contributions from leading figures in today’s world of witchcraft, magic, tarot, and astrology, including Stephanie Rose Bird, Amy Blackthorn, Storm Faerywolf, Nancy Hendrickson, Dorothy Morrison, Nicholas Pearson, and Benebell Wen.

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“It is impossible to overstate Scott Cunningham’s influence on the world of Western witchcraft, as well as on Wiccan spirituality. He was not the founder of modern Wicca; that’s Gerald Gardner. He did not introduce Wicca to the United States; that was Raymond Buckland. Instead, Scott transformed Wicca and witchcraft by making them accessible to all in a way that had previously not been possible. Although the impact of Scott’s work continues to grow, too many are unaware of Scott, himself, as a person. This brilliantly moving book by Christine Cunningham Ashworth, Scott’s younger sister, seeks to remedy that.”
—Judika Illes, editor, and author of Encyclopedia of Witchcraft 

“Like so many other witches, my first witchcraft books were those written by Scott Cunningham. I still use much of what I learned from him in my own books. He was a huge influence, personally and professionally irreplaceable and unmatched. It has always been a great sorrow to me that I never met Scott, but through this wonderful new biography, I feel as though I finally have. Thank you, Christine Cunningham Ashworth, for sharing him with me and the world. It is a gift beyond measure.”
—Deborah Blake, author of The Everyday Witch’s Coven and The Eclectic Witch’s Book of Shadows

“This book ought to come with a warning label: ‘Do not open unless your schedule is free for the next several hours.’ It’s a hackneyed old trope to say, ‘I couldn’t put this book down,’ but in the case of Scott Cunningham—The Path Taken, it’s absolutely accurate. Christine’s story is a truly compelling page-turner that reads like the best fiction, but even better, as it’s all true! Whether you are a Scott Cunningham aficionado or are just getting introduced to his legacy in the world of witchcraft, you will be fascinated with this story of his courage, curiosity, and magic, written by one of the people who knew him the best—his sister. Just make sure you are ready to settle in for a nice, long, thoroughly enlightening, and enjoyable read.”
—Madame Pamita, author of Magical Tarot, Baba Yaga's Book of Witchcraft, and The Book of Candle Magic

“Applause and gratitude for the diligence, willingness, and courage of Christine Cunningham Ashworth to share so many personal stories and anecdotes of the Cunningham family. It is through her lens, her heart, her bravery that we can touch Scott Cunningham in a way many of us have only dreamed. Anyone blessed to own this book will have a true treasure in their hands. I know it will grow spiritual wings, fly to the furthest magical corners of the universe, and be a blessing to all who read its pages. A true keeper, a touchstone, a heartfelt working of love.”
—Najah Lightfoot, author of Good Juju: Mojos, Rites & Practices for the Magical Soul and Powerful Juju: Goddesses, Music & Magic for Comfort, Guidance & Protection

“I loved this telling of Scott Cunningham’s story! The format of including excerpts from other metaphysical writers was brilliant and lets us get to know Scott on the level he would have wanted us to—the spiritual one. Christine Cunningham Ashworth herself writes with such love and respect for her brother and their shared history. The combination makes a recounting of Scott’s life that is as dreamy and whimsical as it is factual and informative. A must-read for those who found witchcraft through his books, whether that was decades ago or yesterday.” 
—Cassandra Snow, author of Queering the Tarot, Queering Your Craft and coauthor of Lessons from the Empress

“A touching and intimate portrait of one of America’s most important witchcraft pioneers, intensely readable and relatable, Scott Cunningham—The Path Taken is now required reading for anyone interested in Craft history. Thirty years after Cunningham’s untimely passing, this book illustrates why his work is just as popular today as it was during his lifetime.”
—Jason Mankey, author of The Horned God of the Witches
 
Scott Cunningham—The Path Taken . . . is the true-life saga of a close-knit, loving family and the author’s journey to piece together, from scattered memories, Scott Cunningham, the famous brother she never fully knew. It is about love and loss, regrets and appreciations—a memorial told in personal snapshot-like scenes, in the reminiscences of friends, and in the stories of people who only knew Scott Cunningham through his books that enriched and changed their lives.

“You will learn how Scott, writing in the 1970s and 80s, felt he had to live in two closets, both as a gay man and as a witch. Still, he legitimized solitary witchcraft by helping individuals ‘remember’ the natural, everyday practice of magic; he made Wicca, its knowledge, and essential practices, available to everyone.”
—Mary K. Greer, author of Women of the Golden Dawn and Archetypal Tarot “Ray and I were blessed to count Scott Cunningham as a good friend and Chet Cunningham was inspirational in Ray’s career. Christine absolutely brought Scott to life, and I laughed and cried along with her in this deeply personal biographical journey. This book offers wonderful insight into a life filled with light and love. Highly recommended!”
—Tara Buckland
 
“Christine Cunningham Ashworth provides a detailed, respectful, and well-written biographical ‘window’ into the life story of the late Scott Cunningham—a prolific author of accessible, resourceful, and practical books on earth magic that are major knowledge resources and gateways for all who seek the ways of magic, especially solitary practitioners. If you have been touched by his work, you will treasure Scott Cunningham—The Path Taken: Honoring the Life and Legacy of a Wiccan Trailblazer.”
 —Orion Foxwood, author of The Flame in the Cauldron and The Tree of Enchantment
 
“Christine Cunningham Ashworth’s Scott Cunningham—The Path Taken: Honoring The Life and Legacy of a Wiccan Trailblazer gives us an invaluable peek into the Cunningham family dynamic. Christine lovingly shares details of her childhood growing up in Southern California during the 60’s and 70’s. A magical time. Station wagon-filled road trips and a family’s love of adventure and the outdoors are the backdrop of pivotal moments that shaped their lives. Through memories and conversations, Christine grants us a private insight into the complexity of her older brother, Scott. The Universe whispered sacred secrets to Scott, and we all thank him and love him for sharing this wisdom with us.”
—Steven Intermill, director, and Toni Rotonda, owner, of the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick